The Janine Bolon Show with Harry Spaight - 99 Authors Project, Season 4, Episode 7

The 99 Authors Project – Season 4 – Episode 7 with Harry Spaight

Harry Spaight

Harry Spaight serves others by mentoring people on growing their business and sales without the pushy tactics. He is a Keynote Speaker, Coach and Author of “Selling with Dignity-Your Formula for Life Changing Sales Results” and the host of the Sales Made Easy podcast.

He works with entrepreneurs and sales teams to elevate their craft of selling coming from a place of serving so that clients are created for life and are raving fans.

Transcript of the Show

Bryan Hyde
Welcome to the Janine Bolon show, where we share tips from around the globe. As we guide practical people with their finances using money tips, increase their incomes through side businesses, and maintain their sanity by staying in their creative zone.

Janine Bolon
Hello, Janine Bolon here and welcome to today’s show, which is loaded with quality content on saving your knowledge, working on your business and a few money tips on the side. The Janine Bolon Show is a syndicated program of four podcast programs that were combined in October of 2021. You folks may remember we had the Three Minute Money Tips, the Thriving Solopreneur, the Writers Hour Creative Conversations, as well as the Practical Mystic Show. And today we are highlighting a veteran salesman as well as a fellow podcaster and author. And one of the things I really like about today’s guest is that he actually walks his talk. I mean, we have a lot of people on that really know what they’re talking about. And that’s one of the things I’m so thrilled I can share that with you today, when we discuss relationship selling, especially in the business world. As to my fellow authors and podcasters, this person actually does walk his talk, not only will we be discussing a bit about how you can save your sanity as you work with your business or your book. But today’s guest will also be sharing with you how you can get your message, your story or your memoir out into the world. Now, you may already know that I’ve been interviewing 99 authors this year to get their guidance and perspective on saving your knowledge in the form of a book or a YouTube video or podcast. But I do want to say that today’s guest is bringing a lot of added value through his book. I just want to say welcome Harry Spaight. Great to have you with us today.

Harry Spaight
Oh, it’s great to be here. Janine, the pressure is on you spoke so highly of me. I’ll try not to disappoint.

Janine Bolon
You know, I know you won’t every every person has been referred to the show because we are a referral only show people have to be referred on. And we have never been disappointed. And I always have email. So I know you won’t disappoint. But for starters, this is your first book right? Selling with Dignity. That’s your very first book.

Harry Spaight
It is my first book. So are you implying there’ll be others?

Janine Bolon
I always imply especially when it comes to authorship. Why? Because back in 2005, when I wrote my very first book, I was done. Put the hands done, clean my hands up, I’m out of here. And then my readers started begging me for more. And I have a funny feeling with the people like yourself that are on the show, people are gonna say, Hey, you didn’t you didn’t talk about XYZ. Hey, you didn’t flush out PDQ. It happens. It happens to all of us authors. So if you don’t mind, tell us a little bit about yourself because you talk about how when you came to writing a book, you heard a little whisper in your voice, or in your head in January of 2021. There was this little whisper it said, Hey, yo, Harry, write the book, or something like that. Just share your story with me.

Harry Spaight
Wow, what a great memory you have. So yes. So my background real quick is I used to be a missionary. So for a little over a decade in my life, I did mission work, and culminating with a couple of years in the Dominican Republic. So that backstory has a big impact as to who I am today and why I wrote the book selling with dignity. But after the mission work, my wife mentioned something about having kids. You know, I had to get a job, responsibilities, stuff I really loved. So I thought sales would be the answer. And long story short, I got into sales, I struggled at first and realized that the best way for me to sell was to come from a place of serving, which I knew, I knew service, I didn’t really know sales that well. And then I built a career on it. And then during COVID, that little voice, said write the book. And there was an idea that came in my head over 10 years ago, that I told a friend of mine, I need to write a book about all the things I’ve done and how I do in sales and so forth. He says, yeah, you should write a book. And then I completely forgot about it. And during COVID it came back and thankfully, I remembered enough to write the book. So that’s the story.

Janine Bolon
And that’s what I love. I love the story behind the stories that we write about, because to me, they’re just as exciting. And one of the things that I have noticed is sometimes people will change their name. Now, do you use your real name or did you use a pen name for your book?

Harry Spaight
I use my real name because I like the extra consonants that are in my name. So when people ask for the spelling, they never get it right. So it could be a pseudonym, but it’s my real name with a G and H in there. So, yes, and I actually am very proud of the name. And it’s a little bit of a joke, but back in when I was running a sales team in D.C., I would say my name so fast, Harry Spaight, then I would say it’s one word. So it’s Harry Spaight, one word. So then I got to be known as one word, oh, and other sales leaders. And so it became a joke, but then you have fun with your name and thus, I had to use it on the book.

Janine Bolon
Well, thanks so much for sharing that with us, because some authors actually would have told me I would change my decision, like they started off with a pen name and stuff. It just depends whether you’re a fiction or nonfiction. But you kind of gave us a little bit about your background. But did you have what you would call a marketing background before you started writing your book in January?

Harry Spaight
Yeah. I mean, this is an interesting question, because it really, you have to figure out what sales is. And back in the day sales was not marketing. Today, sales is marketing. And anyone who is in sales that doesn’t get that is missing the boat, right? I mean, there’s an opportunity there that we need to market ourselves. So over the past couple of years, I’ve gotten much better in marketing and understanding what the personal brand is, but do I have a background? No, but I just dove in to reading, watching videos, following people like Gary Vee, and learning to understand that marketing, branding, sales, they are all tied in together. What’s your thought on that?

Janine Bolon
Yeah. The reason I asked about do you have a marketing background is so many authors don’t like, you know, they’re like you, they become scholars, and they just start diving into it and figure out. What are some takeaways that most surprised you about the book marketing process and publishing your book?

Harry Spaight
Yeah, I get a kick out of the thought is that you write the book and they expect the sales are just going to come. And as I was writing the book, people were saying, it doesn’t happen that way. You have to start marketing immediately. So there was a book I read, someone suggested, which was show your work. And for accountability, I immediately started putting out on LinkedIn and Facebook what I was doing, so there was no turning back. I had now accountability partners, that were in the hundreds if not 1,000s, because I put the message out, Hey, I’m writing a book. This is you know, this is a rough draft, I printed out pages. So you know, though, there’s work involved. I know on Twitter, I see people who are authors and some are following me, obviously and I can tell they’re not into the whole marketing thing. Because there’s frustration, they say things like I’m not a salesperson. And I’m just throwing out posts to help them to see or tweets to help them see that we’re all in sales, and we have work to do, and to get our message out, we cannot sit idly. So yeah, that’s kind of what my thinking is.

Janine Bolon
And so when it came to what you were doing, what surprised you the most, because you didn’t seem to me to be the type of guy that would sit back and say, Oh, the book is going to sell itself, you were already getting information. So what was a surprise for you when it came to the book marketing process?

Harry Spaight
Just how much you need to do? Yeah, I mean, there’s, there’s no, you don’t know until you’re in it. And then if you and for me, I was thinking, I could do it kind of casually, it would take forever. So I had a conversation with a friend who has written several books. And he’s real time, I forgot the name of the publisher, but one of the fancy ones where you’re, you know, it’s a real show. It’s not self-published. And he said that some other famous author, not him, said, writing a book is 25, you’re 25% finished through the project, when you’re finished writing. The other 75% is you marketing and what. Oh, my goodness, was that a wake up. So it became a daily, really a daily practice for me is to start putting out content, not that I’m selling, quote, unquote, selling books by my book, but putting out the content so that people would see what are the message is. And that amount of work was the surprise.

Janine Bolon
Right? And then what would you change if you started marketing your book today? Because you’ve had a lot of education, you’ve had self-education, you’ve had author’s volunteer information. You’ve been running around LinkedIn and a lot of these networking groups. You’ve been gathering a lot of data so what would you change if you started today?

Harry Spaight
I would start earlier. And, you know, my friend who helped me with publishing the book said, you really want to be marketing. And I remember having this conversation. It’s like, look, I’m going to be doing this for a long time. I can breathe. I don’t have to be marketing so much. And, you know, it’s being balanced, but I could have started sooner. I just didn’t know what that meant. So having some conversations really to understand what that means until the light bulb goes on. If it came on sooner, it would have been a little bit better probably for me.

Janine Bolon
Yeah. So starting sooner, what does that mean to you? Can you be a little bit more specific? Like,

Harry Spaight
Don’t wait until the books finished? Okay. The confidence factor? You know, we all have I don’t know if everyone but I have demons to deal with. I have the what is it?

Janine Bolon
Impostor syndrome? Yeah, we all suffer from that one.

Harry Spaight
I saw the other day. That said imposters don’t are the only ones that don’t suffer from impostor syndrome. Yeah, hello. So the ones that really shouldn’t care about it are the ones that care the most, right? We’re not imposters, we’re here to serve. And if we’re thinking we’re imposters, it means because we’re serving and we’re not obnoxious. So I should have had that been would have been great if I knew that was coming early on, but I struggled with it. Like who am I I’m not an author? There’s all these famous people, why this book? There’s not I mean, there’s enough sales books out there. But then when people started reading it, and you know, I sent the book out to some people to get their recommendations on it. I was, you know, fingers crossed, wondering, you know, how are they going to respond, and they came back with such kind words, I didn’t believe what they were saying. I said all they’re just saying that to be nice. That was my, my next little battle. And then it wasn’t until enough people said, this is really impactful, this is going to change, this has changed me. That I want oh, okay, this, this doesn’t suck as bad as it all was. I started gaining confidence and it wasn’t until recently Janine, that I identified as a writer. And that literally has happened in the last. So I finished writing the book in September of 2021. So we’re now seven months past that. Probably the last month, I said, I am a writer, with confidence. And, you know, that’s just a whole different world. If I said that earlier, and had the confidence that not would have led to more conversations.

Janine Bolon
So definitely have people self-identify as an author or a writer earlier, rather than later. I totally concur with that. I was on book number five before I could call myself an author. So I just wanted to let you know, hey, you got there a lot sooner than I did. And it was just one of those things. It was embarrassing. But it was like I so identified as a scientist, and as a radio show person that you know, call myself an author. I just yeah, I really struggled with that. So I just like to throw that out there for people.

Harry Spaight
Thank you. I feel ahead of the game.

Janine Bolon
You’re very much so, yes. So tell us what worked best for you when it came to selling your books? I mean, what was the one thing that you did that worked well for you?

Harry Spaight
Book launches are not a bad idea. There’s opportunity there. I say that chuckling because, again, some of us were raised weird, right? And one example is, don’t think too highly of yourself. You know, don’t no one likes to bragger, things along those lines. So I’m so old school, we didn’t all get trophies for showing up. You had to earn trophies. And you if you weren’t, if you didn’t ask you didn’t speak about yourself. If we weren’t asked, otherwise you are bragging. So these again, more demons had overcome. And people were doing launches for me. And I was hesitant. So those things work because they get the message out, people post about it on LinkedIn. You get random, random people that you’re not even connected to buying your book and it depends on what you want to do with your book. I, again, I’m learning through this whole process but those things where you’re out in public working with people, we’re on Zoom, and you’re promoting your stories that’s going to help people can go a long way. Really? What is the outcome for the readers? What I keep coming back to, not how I feel personally.

Janine Bolon
Right? Exactly, because it is about the message, almost every author I’ve talked to, you know, it’s even if they’re writing a book as a lead magnet for their business, they’re educating. They’re really wanting to serve their greater community. So this is one of my favorite questions. I love this question. What process did you try that was like an epic failure in selling your books? Because we want to help our fellow authors not walk down the same road we did. Was there anything that you were just like, oh, my gosh, this is so not working?

Harry Spaight
Well, I’d say not working is the fail. Okay, and if I can, if for a minute, not that I knew I was famous, but I know I’m not famous. So that wasn’t a concern. But for some reason, in my mind, that there would be book sales that were just coming every month, while when you’re writing. And, excuse me when you’re finished writing and that book goes out on Amazon, and Amazon’s got all this things, only three left, only one left, buy now, only four left. I’m like, what the heck is that? Like, are hundreds and hundreds of books being sold? And then you get this notice? Like, oh, okay, not good. Not so much. So they, so then that’s reality. And so the fail for me, is not continuing to talk about the message. The book, for me, is not about me. The book is for people who read it. So if we think the book is for us, and this is not my own, I read this great book, somewhere, I think it might be Your Book is not Your Business Card. But there’s a few books I read that could have been in that one. And if we think the book is for us, and it’s off our plate when we’re finished, and we’re done, then, okay. That’s not what the book was. for me. The book was for this message to help the world to be better at sales without being slimy and dirty and pushy, and all those tactics. So there’s work to get that message out thinking that for a minute that that was just going to happen because I had a book on Amazon and Barnes and Noble and Target and Walmart. Nah it doesn’t, no, it doesn’t work. Yeah. Unless you’re someone famous. Janine Bolon, right.

Janine Bolon
Oh, yeah, you’re cute. Thank you so much for putting me in that camp. But we all know, there are different tiers to that and also, there’s different focus. So for me, I wasn’t out to become a best selling number one author, this was back in 2005 when I started. I was trying to serve my students. My students needed information and they I couldn’t find it in any textbook and that’s what got me started was because I was having to write my own textbooks. And so same for you. It’s like this little voice started whispering to you. And it was like, 10 years ago, you you had somebody say, yes. And if you’ve had somebody say, yes, I would read the book you write and you haven’t written, hello? You have a readership that is waiting on that word. Right. So I’m so glad that you so glad that you bring that up. So what story do you tell about yourself that like, gets the most laughs from your target audience? I mean, we all as authors, we all have those skeletons we tried out of the closet, unlike normal people who keep them hidden. We tried them right out because we always get lots of laughs. So what are some stories you’d like to tell on yourself?

Harry Spaight
Oh, probably. It’s, there’s a few. But one that’s in the book that, I mean, it’s me in the Dominican Republic. And there was, I we’re much younger, my wife was still in our 20s. I was a little bit older, and, you know, in the Dominican Republic in the 90s, there’s a lot of whistling at women from other countries. So okay, let me put it that way. So a lot of cat calls, and I did not speak enough Spanish to say shut up. Okay, so I didn’t know the common vernacular. I knew stuff about the Bible, but I didn’t know stuff about and I knew how to get beer and you know, different things, but I didn’t know how to tell people to go jump in a river, fly a kite, shut up any of those things. So one day we’re on a motorcycle, we’re out in the country dirt roads, and we come out of this dirt road and right there is this little market and in the market on the front of it, everyone’s drinking, bunch of guys drinking rum and beer. And they just start whistling at my wife saying how pretty she is and whatever else, I don’t know. So I had my motorcycle helmet, I take it off and I’m so mad that these guys can say this right in front of me. I hurl my helmet down on the ground, bounces away, down this hard tack, dirt road. And then I yell, she’s my wife and I love myself. And I know that scared those guys. I mean, they just they just looked at me and they started clapping, big grin. So like, I just say what I thought I said, I looked at my wife and I said

Janine Bolon
Yes, you did, Harry.

Harry Spaight
I know. It was very threatening, and I scared them off. But we’re just talking about the dumb things we did as kids. And I was in my 30s. I was still a kid back then. But we we were in the middle of nowhere. A guy and a girl out in the country barely spoke the language, and just were absolutely fearless. At night, anything, right? Roads without lights. Pigs and horses were on a crossing roads. We had friends that slammed into on their motorcycles slammed into a horse, because they you know, broke through this cheap fence. But all these funny, crazy things happen is just like we’re absolutely fearless. We had no idea what kind of weird things could have happened. But me throwing my helmet taken on five or six guys saying I love my wife, I love myself. It’s just part of the silliness.

Janine Bolon
Part of the craziness that was us when we were younger. Exactly. Well, it’s been several months, as you, you know, came out with your book. So what’s the biggest change, you know that you’ve seen in yourself since you started marketing your book?

Harry Spaight
Well, the confidence factor that I mentioned earlier that I believe that I’m a writer is now much different. When, I, I’m not embarrassed at all, when people introduce me as an author, I don’t shrink back. I don’t look around and say what are they talking about? I actually believe the message. So I don’t, my goal is to bring that message into businesses that want to grow, and want to do things the right way. My confidence is through the roof now, whereas it wasn’t early on, because how are people going to react, and all the self doubt and all whatever all the demons we battle with? Is that all gone? I now can speak to anybody, feel very confident and for every author out there, I will tell you 100%, that you have your tribe, your audience. You may not know who they are yet, but if you have one friend, that one friend likes you for a reason, there are more like that friend. And now I tell people all the time is like you have friends, you’re gonna have more, right? They just need to know about you and that’s really come to fruition. So and I know that’s just going to keep growing. What’s your thought? Do you agree with that?

Janine Bolon
I totally agree with that, because I have seen it in my own life, you know, as I write in four different genres. And so it’s fascinating to see who genre hops with me and who doesn’t. And it’s a lot of fun. It’s a lot of fun to see what goes on with that. So back to you. What are the top five tips that you would give authors about selling their books? Because, you know, we all learn from each other so much. And so what are some of the things you would recommend?

Harry Spaight
Alright, number one, do not ever say that you’re not a salesperson. Because if you say you’re not a salesperson, you are going to believe that nonsense. We’re all in sales, sales is life, and life is sales. So number one is you’re in sales, you write a book, you have a message, you need to get other people to see that message and read about it and have their lives, dreams, visions, goals change because of what you wrote. So that’s number one. Number two is don’t always point to your book that you’re an author and I’ve got this book, buy my book. Nobody wants to hear that. What they do want to hear though, is the message. So the message, sprinkle in that message on, you know, the various social media platforms that are out there when you speaking to people, people will say, well, that’s profound. I really liked that. You don’t have to immediately say, well buy my book. So you’re in sales, but you need to do a tactfully. So people ask, where can I get your book? And that’s when you have an opportunity to share a link and you know, be very calm and cool about it. And almost like you don’t need the business, but you want the business. So third, I’d say is get out and about. Get involved, right? Go to chamber events, network, get on podcasts. There are so many podcasts that are looking for people. Even if you have to hire somebody, there are people that for a few dollars will get you on podcasts. And then there’s other podcasting, you just Google podcasting, podcast guesting, and there’s websites that can do that. Fourth, I’d say is, speak, if you can get out and speak. Even though you might not think you’re great at its people, for just volunteers just say ask if you’re looking for a speaker, I’ll speak for free, because people are going to see you, you’re going to build your tribe. And then fifth, I’d say don’t wait. Just start today, you can’t start yesterday, but you can start today. So start as early as today, no matter where you are in the book, is start with the mindset that you need to promote it, sell it, get the ideas out and or the message out, and then good things will happen. So those are my top five, what do you think?

Janine Bolon
I think they’re really good. And the one that is important is that you are a salesperson, but the thing is, is you get to define it, you get to define what kind of salesperson you are. And so instead of thinking of the stereotypical sleazy polyester shirt, big wide tie salesman that is used cars, realize that what you’re selling is the message to your book. And that is in and of itself, a very important job. And so if you struggled to call yourself an author, try not to struggle about calling yourself that you are in sales, whether you want to believe it or not. So that’s what I I’m grateful that Harry is with us today to give us a few pointers on that. So hey, tell us what was the thing you most misunderstood about being or becoming an author? Like, what was the perspective you had that once you became an author, you went, oh, this is totally different!

Harry Spaight
Well, I think it’s such a, it’s such a, and you probably can recognize this. It’s such a gradual shift, going from non-author, writer to being an author, and recognizing and accepting that. And then you said your first book, I, I said, I’m one and done baby, one and done. That’s it. But you’re so right, I hear more and more people saying, what’s your next book on? And I look now at my tweets, I looked at my posts on LinkedIn, I’ve got millions of ideas. So those are all part of the change, the shifting that I didn’t see coming. I always thought I was going to be, you know, like the reluctant author, the guy that’s an author, but doesn’t really want anyone to think he is, now to like, not only am I an author, but there is a message and it goes on to different aspects of life. And I think that whole thing, you feel like you’re being used as a not always as a guide, so to speak.

Janine Bolon
Exactly, exactly, you’re carving out, you’re carving out your own life path and there’s always a way you can help somebody around the boulders. There’s always somebody can use a little bit of inspiration over the speed bumps, that we’ve all experienced, that sort of thing. So what would you say is your biggest reward to being an author? You know, it’s is it the movie rights or the claim to fame? You know?

Harry Spaight
I got a call the other day. I was actually a little down. It’s one of those things where you just kind of give a lot of energy out and then you just like, well, I had one of those days. Actually had two of those days. And I got a call from a friend of mine who actually endorsed the book. And he said, I just want you to know I’m just calling you out of the blue. I just want you to know that I coached one of my salespeople to follow you and to look at what you’re doing, because you are showing us what sales is. And I went, wow. And I said early on, and I got this from someone else. Serve one person, just serve one person and good things will happen. I’m telling you that just so elated me, I haven’t gotten down since. I mean, that was last week, so six days ago, and I have not come down since because that inspired me, is that one person. Now why did you ask the question, did I answer the question?

Janine Bolon
Yeah, it’s what is the biggest reward to be an author? And I totally agree. Yeah,

Harry Spaight
That stuff when people say, this has really helped me. Another lady who was a doctor said, after I gave some kind of workshop, she said, what you said is pure gold, you totally changed my perspective on sales. And for a doctor who is on a mission to, you know, solve health problems for people who are in bad health, and she didn’t think she could sell. To say that. You cannot help but feel like you’re making an impact that’s going to influence 1,000s, if not millions of people by helping that person, get her message out so people live healthier lives. So yeah, that’s the reward.

Janine Bolon
Yeah, the ripple effect is definitely, you can actually see it manifesting in your life. And I have to agree with you. That’s one of the best things for me as far as being an author. So well, those are the 13 questions that we wanted to ask Harry about today, he has more information for you especially check out his latest work on his website, which is Harry Spaight.com. And that happens to be spelled, we’re going to do that for you. It’s Harry, h-a-r-r-y. Spaight is, s-p-a-i-g-h-t.com. And if you’re interested in checking out his book, he’s got some reviews and a little information you may be interested in. It’s Selling with Dignity.com. And we recommend that you go out there and take a look at it and watch the videos. There’s a few things there that Harry has for you to kind of work with you on that. So any last closing thoughts you have for us today, Harry?

Harry Spaight
Well, yeah, you can definitely download the first three chapters of the book, on Selling with Dignity.com. Highly recommend it and, you know, if I can help in any way, you get a little more confidence in sales. Anybody that’s listening, I’m happy to provide some guidance for the quick call or, you know, 30 minute call.

Janine Bolon
And that is the money tip. You may not have known that. But one of the things I like to share with people is that authors love talking about their work. And if you can talk to the horse’s mouth like you can with Harry Spaight regarding sales that will save you money, whether you run a small side business or whatever it is that you’re doing. So I very much encourage you to reach out to Harry, especially on LinkedIn, you can find him it’s easy. So anyway, thanks so much for your time today for being a spotlighted author with us today.

Harry Spaight
Awesome. Great to be here, Janine.

Janine Bolon
And if you are an author, or you know of an author that you would like us to spotlight this year, please visit our website, AuthorPodcasting.com, where you will find the 99 Author Project listed. Now we talk to all authors from all walks of life as we build out book number 12, Advice from Authors to Authors, which will be published in 2023. And this is Janine Bolon signing off with you today. And from all of us here at the 8 Gates that produced the Janine Bolon show. We wish you a wonderful week. And we encourage you to get your message, your story or your knowledge out into the world. Make it a better place just like these authors are doing that we’re interviewing this year. We’ll see you again next week. And until then, keep sharing what you know with others, keep shining that light that we know is you and don’t forget to go out today and you know, just do something for yourself that’s fun. Have a great week.

Bryan Hyde
Thank you for listening to the Janine Bolon show. Be sure to subscribe to our show notes by going to www.theJanineBolonshow.com, where you’ll find additional resources as well as the opportunity to sign up to receive our program in your email each week. Be sure to visit our sponsor at www.the8gates.com.

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